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Acute Capsaicin Supplementation Improves 1,500-m Running Time-Trial Performance and Rate of Perceived Exertion in Physically Active Adults

de Freitas, Marcelo, Conrado1; Cholewa, Jason, M.2; Gobbo, Luis, A.1; de Oliveira, João, V.N.S.3; Lira, Fabio, S.3; Rossi, Fabrício, E.4

Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: February 2018 - Volume 32 - Issue 2 - p 572–577
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000002329
Original Research

de Freitas, MC, Cholewa, JM, Gobbo, LA, de Oliveira, JVNS, Lira, FS, and Rossi, FE. Acute capsaicin supplementation improves 1,500-m running time-trial performance and rate of perceived exertion in physically active adults. J Strength Cond Res 32(2): 572–577, 2018—The purpose of this study was to investigate the acute effect of capsaicin supplementation on performance, rate of perceived exertion (RPE), and blood lactate concentrations during short-duration running in physically active adults. Ten physically active men (age = 23.5 ± 1.9 years, mass = 78.3 ± 12.4 kg, and height = 177.9 ± 5.9 cm) completed 2 randomized, double-blind trials: Capsaicin condition (12 mg) or a placebo condition. Forty-five minutes after supplement consumption, the participants performed a 1,500-m running time trial. Time (in seconds) was recorded. Blood lactate concentration was analyzed at rest, immediately after exercise, after 5, 10, and 30 minutes during recovery and the RPE was collected after exercise. The time was significantly (t = 3.316, p = 0.009) lower in the capsaicin (371.6 ± 40.8 seconds) compared with placebo (376.7 ± 39 seconds). Rate of perceived exertion was significantly (t = 2.753, p = 0.022) less in the capsaicin (18.0 ± 1.9) compared with the placebo (18.8 ± 1.3). Lactate increased across time for both conditions without significant differences between (p > 0.05). In summary, acute capsaicin supplementation improves middle distance running (1,500 m) performance and reduced RPE in physically active adults.

1Skeletal Muscle Assessment Laboratory, Department of Physical Education, School of Technology and Sciences, São Paulo State University, Presidente Prudente, Brazil;

2Department of Kinesiology, Coastal Carolina University, Conway, South Carolina;

3Exercise and Immunometabolism Research Group, Department of Physical Education, São Paulo State University (UNESP), Presidente Prudente, Brazil; and

4Immunometabolism of Skeletal Muscle and Exercise Research Group, Federal University of Piauí (UFPI), Teresina, Brazil

Address correspondence to Dr. Fabrício E. Rossi,

Copyright © 2018 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.